In the latest move in an ongoing battle between the two tech giants, Qualcomm has made a massive accusation against Apple, alleging that the iPhone maker stole its trade secrets and handed that information to Intel. According to CNBC, a court filing by Qualcomm claims Apple stole “vast swaths” of confidential information and trade secrets in order to improve the performance of the chips that were being provided to it by Qualcomm’s rival, Intel. Qualcomm is asking the court to amend allegations in its current lawsuit against Apple, accusing it of breaching the agreement that Apple signed when it became a customer of Qualcomm’s. The filing was made overnight in a San Diego Superior Court, and although it’s being made part of the current case between the two companies, Qualcomm’s general counsel, Donald Rosenberg, told CNBC that the case of trade secret theft would have been filed on its own even if there wasn’t an on-going dispute. “Unlawful use of Qualcomm’s valuable trade secrets to try to help a competitor catch up irreparably harms us and must not be allowed to continue,” Rosenberg said.
These latest charges are part of a lawsuit filed last November where Qualcomm accused Apple of violating its agreement with Qualcomm by not ensuring that source code software and tools provided to Apple were being appropriately protected. Qualcomm original suit alleged that Apple was blocking it from its rights under the agreement to audit Apple’s use of its source code, but not it’s upped the ante with the claim that Apple stole that source code and tools “for the express purpose of helping Intel overcome engineering flaws in its chips that led to their poor performance in iPhones,” based on uncovering evidence that Apple engineers “repeatedly provided source code and other confidential information to Intel engineers.” While Qualcomm has not provided any direct evidence to support the allegations, the filing makes reference to discussions between Apple and Intel engineers that was found during discovery, including not just email correspondence but Apple’s own source code development history and the code used in Intel-based phones.